Big Play

February 18, 2008

WHO: Vijay Singh

WHAT: Greenside bunker shot from a plugged lie to eight feet

WHERE: 543-yard par-5 18th hole at Pebble Beach

WHEN: Playoff at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

WHY
Singh's Sunday collapse (four bogeys on the back nine) proves how hard it is to rely on a new swing under pressure. Singh has been retooling his action since last year, moving the club more in front of his chest through impact, but he reverted to his old swing down the stretch and hit hooks, slices, pop-ups and skulls. After his approach in the playoff plugged in a greenside bunker, however, Singh finally hit a sweet shot, forcing Steve Lowery to respond.

MIKE'S TIP
Bury the Head to Play a Fried Egg

Singh made a textbook-perfect swing for a plugged lie in a bunker, and you can too. Use a slightly open stance and open the club face a little extra at address. After making a full backswing with a full wrist-cock, hit down hard. Then, and most important, make virtually no follow-through, so at the finish the clubhead is buried in the sand just past impact.

Mike Lopuszynski teaches at the David Glenz Golf Academy in Hamburg, N.J.

Rarin' to Go

OCHOA
WEBB
GRAZEBIEN

Last season was a year of transition on the LPGA tour, with Lorena Ochoa (eight wins) taking over for Annika Sorenstam (none) as the top-ranked player. Here are the five pros who had the biggest gains and the five with the largest declines in earnings in 2007, plus five rookies to watch during the '08 season, which kicks off with this week's SBS Open at the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, Hawaii.

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FALLERS 2006 $ 2007 $ -
1. Karrie Webb 2,090,113 630,030 1,460,083
2. Annika Sorenstam 1,971,741 532,718 1,439,023
3. Julieta Granada 1,633,586 412,440 1,221,146
4. Hee-Won Han 1,147,651 116,246 1,031,405
5. Julie Inkster 1,326,442 736,521 589,921

ROOKIES TO WATCH

Anna Grzebien, 22. Duke star was '05 NCAA individual champ and national collegiate player of the year.

Liz Janangelo, 24. Also a former Dukie, she was the '04 player of the year; won twice on the Futures tour in '07.

Hee Young Park, 20. Three-time winner and rookie of the year on Korean LPGA in '05.

Ashleigh Simon, 18. Won a pro event in her native South Africa at age 14; also a winner last year on Ladies European tour.

Taylor Leon, 20. Curtis Cupper and '06 SEC freshman of the year at Georgia went pro after sophomore season.

...AND ANOTHER THING

"Ernie Els is too busy flying around collecting appearance fees (Dubai, India). He should focus on the majors and beating Tiger Woods."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Will Annika Sorenstam overtake Lorena Ochoa and regain the No. 1 ranking?

Yes ....21%

No ....79%

"Annika inspired women to attain new heights, but now all she can do is look up to the current and future stars."
—JANE FROST, SANDWICH HOLLOWS GOLF CLUB

PHOTO*COURTESY OF CBS (SINGH) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND) TWO PHOTOSERICK W. RASCO (LOPUSZYNSKI) PHOTOTODD BIGELOW/AURORA (OCHOA) PHOTOTODD BIGELOW/AURORA (WEBB) PHOTOSAM GREENWOOD/WIREIMAGE.COM (GRZEBIEN) PHOTOKAMRAN JEBREILI/AP (SORENSTAM)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)